Japanese-developed anti-influenza drug, Favipiravir, has been labeled by China’s health leadership as an anti-viral drug for Coronavirus.

This was confirmed by China’s director of the National Center for Biotechnology Development, Zhang Xinmin.

According to Zhang Xinmin, the Avigan (Favipiravir) drug was found to be effective in two clinical trials completed in Wuhan and Shenzhen involving 320 patients.

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During a conference in Beijing on Tuesday, Zhang said the medicine worked for coronavirus-related symptoms including pneumonia and had no obvious side effects.

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“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters.

Patients who were given the medicine in Shenzhen turned negative for the virus after four days of therapy, compared with a median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug, public broadcaster NHK said.

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In addition, X-rays confirmed improvements in lung condition in about 91% of the patients who were treated with favipiravir, compared to 62% or those without the drug.

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